Experienced fly anglers who have lost a big fish right at the river bank will tell you how important it is to have a high-quality, reliable fly fishing net in your arsenal. Investing in a fly fishing net is worthwhile if you want to increase your chances of landing a fish.
Netting fish makes it easier to catch them without hurting them. Net ensures that the fish you are catching is minimally handled and stressed. Several high-end nets in the market come with a hefty price tag. They are a good option for more experienced fish anglers who want to do some serious fishing. Fortunately, there are plenty of value options available for beginners and novice enthusiasts. Since there are a lot of fly fishing nets available on the market, you might find it hard to select the one that is right for you. To help you out, we have compiled a list of best fly fishing nets. This includes high-end nets as well as budget-friendly options.
Things to Consider When Buying a Fly Fishing Net
When you are considering buying a new fly fishing net, there are a few important things that you must consider. These include:
- Type of Net
Fly fishing nets are available in three types – collapsible nets, fixed frame nets, and scoop nets. The frame of collapsible fly fishing nets folds in on itself, thus the name collapsible. These nets can be clipped to the back or waist and you can get them in the right position with a simple flick. Fixed frame fly fishing nets are used for large fish and their frame is fixed. Scoop nets are generally attached to a rector with a magnetic release. They are a good option for river trout.
The material of the fly fishing net affects its durability. In the past, rubber and nylon were mostly used to make fly fishing nets, but now high-quality carbon fiber and fiberglass nets are also available. Rubber nets are popular among fly anglers because they are durable and difficult to spot in the water. They are also gentler on the protective slime coating of the fish. Nylon fly fishing nets are much cheaper but they aren’t the best option, as they can split the tail fins of the fish. Carbon fiber nets and fiberglass nets are the most durable and lightweight fly fishing nets and they are the most costly ones too.
Fly fishing generally involves photography which is why aesthetic is an important factor to consider when buying a fly fishing net. An aesthetically pleasing net won’t help you catch more fish but it will look better in pictures.
- Handle Length
Handle length is another important factor to consider when shopping for a fly fishing net. To determine the ideal handle length, you need to consider several things including water environment, where you are fishing from, and the size and weight of the fish you intend to catch. For example, if you are fishing from a boat, you will need longer handles so that you don’t have to lean to reach the water. On the other hand, if you are fishing on the shores, a shorter handle would be the right option.
Cost has to be considered when making any kind of purchase. High-end fly fishing nets are very costly but you should be able to find several budget-friendly options that should satisfy your fly fishing needs.
What size net would be best for you? It depends on the fish you plan on catching. If you are going for large fish, choose a bigger net. On the other hand, if you plan to take on a medium-sized fish only, then a medium-sized fly fishing net would be best for you.
Best Fly Fishing Nets
1. Trademark Innovations 35” Fly Fishing Net
If you intend to pursue large sized species, the Trademark Innovations 35” Fly Fishing Net could be a great option for you. The depth of the basket is 12-inches while the net head is 20-inches long. This is big enough for fly anglers who plan on catching trophy-sized trout or frequently encounter monster fish. The handle is quite long which means that you can use it easily while you are on the boat.
On the 15-inch handle, there are markings for 5-inches and 10-inches which allow you to get an estimate of the size of fish. The rubber mesh minimizes fish stress and makes it easier for you to complete the catch.
The wood grain on the Trademark Innovations 35” Fly Fishing Net has a sharp, bold look that should be able to hold up to wear and tear. It is only half a pound, so handle it with care and try not to smash it. The net’s light weight does make it easier to reach for fish in the water, but the downside of these light wooden frames is that they break easily if fallen on or crushed.
2. Wakeman Extendable Aluminum Net
The Wakeman Aluminum Net can be extended out up to 32-inches. The neat design of the net will allow you to keep it low profile and compact and when you need to use it, you can turn it into a mid-sized fly fishing net on the spot.
Thanks to the aluminum alloy construction, the Wakeman Extendable Aluminum Net is resistant to corrosion. Not only that, but it can also be used for saltwater fishing adventures. However, remember to rinse the net with fresh water after using it for saltwater fishing.
The head of this fly fishing net is 18-inches by 13.5-inches, which means that it is designed for smaller-sized saltwater species. If you plan on catching speckled trout, bonefish or other smaller-sized species, add the Wakeman Extendable Aluminum Net to your shortlist.
3. Isafish Soft Rubber Mesh Landing Net
If you are planning to buy a budget-friendly fly fishing net, the Isafish Soft Rubber Mesh Landing Net could be the right option for you. This clear rubber mesh net with a wooden handle is comparable to some of the higher priced units.
The net is appropriately sized for wade fishing and the high-quality materials used in the product make it durable. Unless you want a truly high-end fly fishing net, this net won’t feel or look much different than other options listed here.
The total length of the unit is 24-inches while the head is 15-inches long with a 9.4-inch deep pocket. The smaller-sized net makes this product great for trout fishing. It is also a good option for people who want to stay extremely mobile during their fishing sessions. An important thing to know about the Isafish Soft Rubber Mesh Landing Net is that it is made from low-quality wood and weighs only 0.8 pounds. Therefore, you will have to use it carefully and ensure that you don’t crush it.
Majority of people who have used the Isafish Soft Rubber Mesh Landing Net have left positive reviews for it which serves as a testament to the unit’s performance.
4. FishPond Nomad Carbon Fiber Hand Net
FishPond is known for making top-quality nets. If you are looking for the high-quality net, consider this carbon fiber unit. It is ideal for catching trout and also suitable for other saltwater and freshwater species. The carbon fiber build is UV resistant and a great option for catching smaller saltwater species like reef fish and bonefish. For big species like stripers and bluefish, you will need something bigger. The materials used in this unit make it capable of taking a very serious beating and the net can stand up to long-term saltwater use.
The FishPond Nomad Carbon Fiber Hand Net is a 26-inch long net while the size of the head is 18 x 13-inches. The head is nice and wide which makes it easier to target erratic fish. It is the perfect size for staying low profile while catching small-sized saltwater species.
The rubberized grip and carbon fiber construction make this fly fishing net stand out. The FishPond Nomad Carbon Fiber Hand Net comes with a hefty price tag but the build-quality justifies the price. So add this fly fishing net on your shortlist if you can afford an expensive net.
5. SF Fly Fishing Soft Rubber Mesh Net
If you are looking for a great value option, the SF Fly Fishing Soft Rubber Mesh Net is worth considering. The square head shaped hoop makes a great option for catching narrower fish such as trout. The hoop is only 10 inches deep and 16 x 9.5-inches long so don’t get this unit if you intend to chase big fish. It is not that this net isn’t capable of handling a large trout; it is just that it is designed for catching smaller sized fish. The smaller size of the net also makes it easier to carry on hikes and travel adventures.
A durable carabiner and quick-release magnet come with this net. These further increase the overall value of the purchase. It is a good way to mount the net while fishing. The SF Fly Fishing Soft Rubber Mesh Net is without a doubt a great affordable option for catching smaller sized fish.
6. Freestone Outfitters Rubber Mesh Net
If you want a fly fishing net for regular trout fishing, the Freestone Outfitters Rubber Mesh Net could be a great option for you. It is a smaller sized unit and is very reasonably priced. It is highly reviewed for its impressive reliability and this net will have your back when you are trying to catch smaller sized fish.
Rubber mesh is a great material because it is barely visible underwater, won’t snag up on the hooks and is minimally stressful to fish. On the other hand, polyester nets can cause abrasions when handling strong fish and are also hard to dislodge hooks from.
The teardrop shape of the net and its 25-inches length make it a good unit to travel or hike with. It is portable, but the size of the hoop – 11 x 17-inches – hasn’t been sacrificed for portability. The pocket depth of the Freestone Outfitters Rubber Mesh Net is 8-inches.
If you are willing to spend a few extra bucks, you can go for the more attractive burl wood version of this net. A slightly bigger carbon fiber option is also there which is even more expensive. If you are looking for a high-end, ultralight net, check out the carbon fiber unit. Otherwise, you can choose between the two wooden models.
Overall the Freestone Outfitters Rubber Mesh Net is a great choice for anglers who want a good quality net at a bargain.
7. Wakeman Wooden Handle Angler Net
The Wakeman Wooden Handle Angler Net is another one of the best fly fishing nets available in the market. This is an expensive option that is trusted by anglers and has acquired positive reviews from the majority of customers. A clip system is included in the net and the wood grain and handle’s patterns look aesthetically pleasing.
The Wakeman Wooden Handle Angler Net isn’t much different from other wooden hand nets with clear rubber mesh included in this list. So the net that you choose will depend on your personal preference concerning head size and depth and handle length. If you want a net with a deeper pocket and good reach, this is a great choice as it sports 28-inches length and a 14-inch deep pocket.
8. Frabill Wood Handle Landing Net
This option is suitable for fly anglers who prefer a traditional style net. Polyester netting is usually not the ideal option as it can be harder on fish and difficult to remove hooks from. But some anglers prefer the look of a polyester net and like using it in their fishing charters.
This is a very affordable option that includes a lanyard and a clip. With 23-inches of total length, the Frabill Wood Handle Landing Net is a small unit. The weight is only 10 ounces so you will be able to target small sized fish with ease. However, be careful not to crush this net while traveling or hiking with it.
This unit’s polyester net and wooden handle don’t make it a low-quality product. It should still help you take on small sized freshwater species without any problem. So if you are interested in inexpensive polyester net, add the Frabill Wood Handle Landing Net to your shortlist.
9. FishPond Nomad Guide Net
As we mentioned earlier, FishPond’s nets are exceptionally high performance; only a few brands can compete with them in terms of quality. If you want a high-quality net, then FishPond’s fly fishing nets are worth considering.
The FishPond Nomad Guide Net is a large sized and long length fly fishing net. At 47 inches long, this unit will give you that extra reach to put a net on the fish before it gets away. If you fish with family or friends, this could prove to be a great landing net to support one another on the water. The FishPond Nomad Guide Net will help you catch fish on the boat because of its wide head size and long reach.
Despite its large size and carbon fiber material, the FishPond Nomad Guide Net only weighs 1.2 pounds. It won’t feel like you are lifting a high-quality net when you are trying to catch that monstrous trout. The carbon fiber construction makes this net more resident to water and sun damage. The only thing that would wear out is the rubber mesh net, but this isn’t a major problem since that part can be replaced.
For serious fly anglers who want a high-quality net to land big boys, the FishPond Nomad Guide Net is certainly worth considering.
10. PLUSINNO Fishing Net
This is a hexagonal-shaped, collapsible fishing net is not just lightweight but also quite durable. The solid construction of the unit is attributed to fiberglass, EVA and carbon fiber. The EVA around the unit’s handle makes it comfortable to hold and skid-resistant. The net of this product is made of nylon. Since the material is non-absorbent, you don’t have to worry about bacteria, bad odors, mildew, mold and other issues caused by waterlogging.
The nylon mesh is knotless too which makes it perfect for catch and release. Additionally, the risk of hooks getting tangled in the net is low. The PLUSINNO fly fishing net has a fixed pole. It measures 27.5-inches long and weighs 10.5 ounces. The net is 7.5-inches deep while the hoop of the unit is 12-inches. When collapsed, the PLUSINNO Fishing Net only takes up to 17 by 4 inches of space. It is also available in other hoop sizes – 16-inches, 17-inches, and 20-inches. All models easily fold up for storage and transport.
11. Ed Cumings Fish Saver Landing Net
The Ed Cumings Fish Saver Landing Net measures 19.5-inches long. The handle of the unit is only 5.5-inches long, but has a high-quality grip to ensure that your hand doesn’t slip, even when the handle is wet. Although this net doesn’t float, you can easily tie it to fishing waders using the heavy-duty elastic cord that comes with the product. This will definitely dissipate any fears about losing the net in the water.
The bow of this net measures 14 by 11-inch. It is constructed using a ½-inch-thick black anodized framing. The mesh is also black and made of soft nylon with ½-inch holes. It is about 12-inches deep and gentle on fish, allowing for safe catch and release without harming the delicate grills of fish. The mesh of this product is safe for use and doesn’t get snagged easily.
12. South Bend LN-250
This net has a teardrop-shaped hoop made of lightweight and durable ½-inch aluminum. The length of the handle is 5.5-inches and its molded grip allows for a comfortable and secure hold. Although the net doesn’t float, the bright green netting makes it easier to find it if you accidentally drop it in the water. The size of the South Bend LN-250 makes it compatible with standard-sized rod holders.
The hoop of the net is 14-inches wide and 15-inches long. The depth of the net is 24-inch, making it a great choice for small fish. It’s made using knotted poly netting which means that it is tough but you will have to be wary of snags. It may be hard on delicate fish which means that isn’t the best option for catch and release. However, it is great for saltwater fishing because of its strong and durable material.
As you can see, fly fishing nets are available in different varieties. They are different in terms of size, the material used in the construction, the material of the net, and the cost. They are an important fly fishing accessory so if you want to increase your success rate, we recommend you get a fly fishing net that is right for you. We have provided tons of options for you. The fly fishing nets we have listed are some of the best ones you will find in the market so you don’t have to look elsewhere to find a net that is right for you. Consider your budget and the type of fish you intend to catch to select a fly fishing net that is best for you.